Sunday, 29 June 2014

Unexpected Detours

Hello, Predictioneers! Most humble apologies for failing to post yesterday. Events turned in unforeseen ways, and I had to scramble to deal with them. Nothing tragic, merely time consuming. With Colleen off on an adventure, there was no one to cover me (as I am covering for her).

Great stories last week, both serial and stand-alone.  The winner is AJ Humpage with A Beautiful Burden. It had an enormous impact on me. Second place goes to Noah Heinrich for Immanence, in part because I am partial to stories of angel in-fighting, but also because there was such joy in the escape, regardless of the motivation therefor.

The tome, sulking at being ignored for a full day, has given us these fine words:


Well, that ought to be interesting! I am certain to be pleased with whatever your creative minds bring forth.

The usual rules apply: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialized fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. You have until Friday evening, July 5.

Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media best pleases you and, if you like, remind your friends that we are open to new and returning writers.


  1. Congratulations AJ and Noah - entertaining as ever.

    Thoughts on being ambushed

    Dauntlessness was not enough.
    I’d seen him despatch six in fewer minutes, but they a mismatch of pure-bred English fops; ambition way beyond ability.
    These now – one atop a stallion in the centre of the road before us, twin-matched double deputies either side, Saxon-haired and broad as Blackwater barges – a different breed. Brains matched brawn (though maybe blunter than the black-haired man I’d decided was my future).
    But with unknown numbers fast coming up behind; an unwieldy loose-wheeled cart and a now-howling babe, ‘twas likely his future would be very short.
    Mine only long enough to pay the required penalty.

    1. darkness and death, destruction and goodness knows what double dealing going on in this story!
      I want more, so I do.

    2. darkness and death, danger and double dealing abounds in this serial.
      I want more, so I do...

    3. I really am enjoying reading each and every episode of this ongoing story - great stuff !

    4. Thanks to you both, your comments spur me on and I'm glad you're willing to read more!

    5. I am so enthralled by this tale. I hope he survives, as I want to know more about who and what he is.

  2. Congratulations AJ and Noah, brilliant writing as always!
    Rebecca, the 27th was last Saturday, what strange detours are you on right now, we ask ourselves...
    Methinks we have until this coming Friday eve to fill the screen with magical stories, hoping my small weed will not show up too badly against the blossoms from everyone else... the Captain is not in the best of moods, the shadow came back with the crew...

    1. Well, foo! I was not paying attention, obviously. I thank you for your editorial eye. It's all fixed now.

  3. Hard lesson

    I stood at the edge of the luminescent combat loop, blade in hand.

    My transgression: injecting thrash n’ bass audio wyrms from the prohibited arts list, dauntless despite the warnings.

    The penalty: a deadly quick-knife skirmish with an unfortunate wretch from the latest off-campus incursion.

    We were quite the mismatch - I a fit and skilled corporate trainee; he a young malnourished and untrained slum-rat from the old city ruins.

    As the bout began I cursed those I was indentured to. Killing this boy would take me a step closer to the eradication of my humanity.

    I had no choice.

    1. Read this three times straight off just for the pleasure of it - the hundred words creating several thousand in my head of understanding and back story. Excellent tight descriptions of the combatants, and how powerful that penultimate sentence.

    2. Rich, this is excellent. I love unwritten back stories which show themselves in the narrative the way this one does.

    3. There is a whole world depicted and hinted at in this, and I very much want to explore it. At the same time, it's a complete story - a moment that brings with it a history and deep emotion. Well done.

  4. Congratulations AJ and Noah - both very well deserved !

  5. Blimey, I'm away for a couple of weeks and then I come galloping in at the last moment to steal the thunder! But seriously, thank you everyone. And well done Noah, too. Great writing from everyone as always. Even the dreaded lurgi won't keep me away this week.

  6. A change of focus [91]

    Faith Cherrystone had achieved her eminence as a London madam through hard work and experience; working her way up from the bottom. As she did for Pettinger, next morning.
    Afterwards, ‘How come you’re so different from your sisters?’
    ‘Such a mismatch? I take after Pa. But Charity and me inherited mother’s dauntless determination to succeed; sometimes a plus but one for which too bloody often we paid the penalty.’
    ‘Albeit in different directions.’
    She snorted. ‘Don’t let that noli me tangere exterior fool you. Charity just dresses it up as some spiritual experience, those who fall for it know better.’

    1. is this really instalment 91? Pettinger is as devious as ever and those around him are just as sharp as he is, which makes for interesting dialogue!

    2. When is someone going to come along and make this a TV series?? Such amazing twists and turns, with clever phrasing, as always.

  7. Daddy’s Little Girls

    Sadie’s cold, dauntless expression seemed unfazed by the glare from Teresa’s torch. Sadie said nothing, except to take in deep breaths.

    Teresa stared at the shape at her feet. ‘She’s not moving.’

    The words floated over Sadie’s head like spinning dandelion seeds in a breeze. ‘That’s ‘cos she’s dead.’

    Teresa, the younger of the two sisters – mismatched in looks, clothes and mannerisms – swept the torch light over the crumpled body. Strands of dark blonde hair had clotted with blood.

    Teresa dreaded the penalty. ‘Daddy will be mad.’

    Sadie clutched the bloodied shovel. ‘It was an accident, remember? A terrible accident…’

    1. another which is loaded with back story we can only guess at.
      Superb writing

    2. The juxtaposition of innocence and homicidal detachment is perfectly chilling and wickedly enjoyable.

  8. The Captain came late this week. Methinks he was watching the World Cup and/or Wimbledon or both on board the Infinity, on his laptop, but he would deny it if I asked, so I didn't go there. It's been a sticky hot week, we could do with some cooling rain. It has already reached the west side of the island, hope it doesn't run out before it reaches us. I have watered every day this week, tis tiresome so it is.
    Anyway... onward!
    The penalty for entrusting the crew is the return of the shadow, with its mismatched partner alongside it. Damnation. Doubtless this one will cause as much mayhem to my peace of mind as the others.
    I was on deck when they came back, the boat rowed by the crew who, fools to a man, were drunk and exhausted and consequently did not know what danger they carried. I be wondering if they had been so dauntless had they known. Would they have rowed so strong for the Infinity – or perhaps they would, seeking to escape its clutches.
    They be wrong.

    1. Such an ominous tone to this. The fact that the crew is unaware - and that he keeps them so - makes me shiver for what might happen to them.

  9. Good morning all. Due to a minor unforeseen circumstance, I have decided to extend out deadline until tomorrow morning. Winners and Words will go up by tomorrow evening. So if you haven't had a chance to post yet, feel free!

  10. Taking advantage of Colleen's slow connection, I toss this in before the gates swing shut.


    Peggy and I were mismatched as a pair of girls could be, she willowy, me a human fireplug. Ignoring snickering boys, frowning biddies, suspicious parents, she was my world and I hers.

    The penalty for what we planned was beyond reckoning, but we had to get away. The woods whispered of a different world. We’d heard of its horrors our whole lives.

    Dauntless, we climbed the wall and found it all true. Woodland people are savage, ruthless, cunning. Fighting every step, we learned first how to live, then thrive.

    Civilization is a false façade for slavery. We will never return.

  11. Blasted internet connection is like to kill me. Gates are closed. My apologies for being late again. Winners and Words this evening if I have to deliver via carrier pigeon!